The Hurricane left Grand Cayman largely untouched. But Cayman Brac got devastated. Paloma was an unusual hurricane. Usually, hurricanes here travel east to west, and the left side of the storm is weaker than the right side. So, the south side of a Caribbean island is usually more vulnerable than the north. If the hurricane passes to the south, the island gets the stronger side of the storm, and the north is protected by the island itself, and if the storm passes north, the island gets hit with the weaker side of the storm. I was told that this storm, traveling the wrong way, west to east, went north of Cayman Brac. So the North Side got the strong side of the storm, and was devastated very badly. I also heard that Little Cayman, while suffering an almost direct hit, isn’t damaged badly at all compared to The Brac.
The hotel(s) and beaches are mostly on the south west part of the island. There were two hotels, Divi Tiara and Brac Reef, Divi has been closed for a couple of years, and I loved Brac Reef.
The east end of Cayman Brac has a huge ridge-like cliff, but the west is largely flat. The way I understand it, storm surge passed completely over the island and destroyed Brac Reef Beach Resort with the weather coming from the north instead of the south. It took the roof off almost the whole thing and flooded it out. It will have to be razed, I heard.
Also, villages along the north were very severly damaged. They had never been hit like this before. Normally the Bluff protects them. Some of my friends lost their entire houses to 25 foot waves. It’s a miracle that nobody got killed
Least damaged is the south east part, where there are less houses, and they are more built to take the storms. This part was protected by the Bluff this time.
In the past 12 years, I’ve been to Cayman Brac many times for work, it was always a pleasure to go. Brac Reef is where the OI Girl worked when I met her. I have only good memories there. Cayman Brac is one of the best places on earth. Another kick in the groin is that the hurricane season is almost over, and a lot of people, myself included, were relaxed, in the cool rainy weather, that hurricanes were finished for the year. This one came out of nowhere and fast.
I’m really sad about this.